there was a wee little yarn shop, at the edge of a beautiful forest....
It's hard to imagine a more adorable, more welcoming LYS than Country Corner Yarns in Charlestown, Rhode Island, situated next to the Millpond nature preserve, at the junction of Routes 2 and 1. While it might be the smallest LYS I've ever seen, its proprietor, Mirja Hanslin, has created an ambiance that's exceedingly comfortable, warm, and relaxing. And the diminutive size of Country Corners belies its rich selection of fine yarns, including many from Europe and the U.K., like the Bergere de France and Rowan lines (and companion pattern books).
The appeal of Country Corner (www.countrycorneryarns.com) is immediate--the building's natural wood exterior is matched inside by the rustic wood walls. One's initial focus, though, is the four big red armchairs in the center of the first room. (Regular readers of this blog know that one of my important criteria for loving a yarn store is seating and work-area placement. I am highly partial to up-front access.) Here knitters can ply their craft, peruse knitting magazines and pattern books, get project advice from Mirja, Irene, and Claudia, and chat with others. To enhance the coziness, there's also a fireplace. Sizable windows let in enough light so that the shop feels bright without glare, and you can see the yarn colors accurately. (Another bonus: classical music plays softly in the background.)
Color and warmth are everywhere. Cubbies of beautiful yarns line the walls, and yarns are ingeniously stored in cabinet-height shelving that also acts as room dividers. In the rear there's a large table at which one can spread out a knitting project or participate in a class (the shop offers several every season). The beauty of the layout is its openness to the rest of the shop, so there's no feeling of separation. This place is all about flow.
Irene DeVerna, Mirja's right-hand helper, told me she began visiting Country Corner when she was in a stressful period and needed knit therapy. It's easy to understand why she found the shop so beneficial. The sweet ambiance, the wonderful colors, and Mirja's calming presence have created a fairy-tale sanctuary for anyone who finds peace in fiber crafts.
Country Corner Yarns celebrated its third anniversary last weekend. May it flourish for many years more!